Former ITV journalist says ‘ menacing and threatening’ police officer wanted cash for tip off to film Ruth Neave’s arrest for murder
- Credit: Archant
A former ITV journalist who covered the Rikki Neave murder 20 years ago has revealed that a Cambridgeshire police officer demanded payment for tipping her off that Ruth Neave was to be arrested for murder.
It meant the journalist knew about the timing and was able to have cameras on hand to film Ruth’s arrest in Chatteris.
She also secured permission from Cambridgeshire police to film inside Ruth’s house in Redmile Walk, Peterborough, shortly before the trial.
But what she has only now revealed to detectives re-examining the case is that after Ruth’s arrest she was contacted by the same police officer who had told tipped her off.
“He demanded money for the tip off regarding Ruth’s arrest,” she has told Detective Superintendent Paul Fullwood, head of major crime for Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
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She claims the officer at the time “was menacing and threatening towards me and demanded that we meet at a pub. My editor at the time asked me to meet him.” No cash was ever paid, she claims.
The journalist – whose identity we have chosen not to reveal- believes she may have evidence that could help detectives now the case is being looked at again.
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She has met with Ruth Neave and her husband Gary and has told Det Supt Fullwood it was “in the interests of pursuing anything which could help them- or you- find Rikki’s killer and secure a successful prosecution”.
The ITV journalist was, at the time of the murder, working in the Peterborough area and prior to the arrest had interviewed Ruth on two occasions.
One area that has troubled the journalist ever since is why she was banned from the court room at Northampton on the pretext of possibly being called as a witness.
The journalist has told Cambs police that “it may be in the public interest, and in the interests of justice” for her to “make myself available” for interview. She has asked Det Supt Fullwood to arrange for her to be questioned about many of the aspects surrounding press and media coverage of Rikki’s murder.
Ruth’s husband Gary has asked police about the media tip that led to cameras not only being there when his wife was arrested but also why access was given to the family home.
“This member of the media was also allowed to visit and film inside Ruth’s home where she saw a copy of a magazine with the picture of the ‘virtuous man’ on it, the same magazine that was produced in court,” he said.”
“The problem is that this was seen in Ruth’s home after her arrest and before the trial, but police statements, coroner’s report and other documents talk of the ‘virtuous man’ well before the magazine was found.
“It had not been seen or found on any other previous searches including the search on January 19, 1995 when a book appeared on a table, and the book and the magazine were never checked for finger prints but were used as a vital bit of evidence in the investigation and at the trial.
“We have also been told that a box of books was at the house but how come since they had all, it was said in court, been seized and given exhibit numbers on December 23, 1994?.”
He added: “This member of the media was contacted by the same police officer and told that she had to pay home £1,000 if not he would cause this person a lot of trouble.”
Last year the former ITV journalist says she was invited to Thorpe Wood police station for an interview with detectives but at the time declined.